Forward Concepts: 2010 to reignite cell phone growth

Research firm Forward Concepts released select results of its "Global Cellphone Market & Subscriber/Operator Ecosystem" study, showing that worldwide cell phone shipments fell by 0.5 percent in 2009 due to the worldwide economic slowdown. However, the group is forecasting 11 percent growth this year to 1.4 billion units. The firm said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) exhibited the greatest unit growth of all cell phone vendors in 2009--with 83 percent growth. Following Apple was Tianyu with 68 percent, NEC with 46 percent, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) with 44 percent, Inventec with 23 percent, LGE with 21 percent, TCL and Huawei each with 17 percent, Samsung with 16 percent and HTC with 10 percent. However, the firm noted that smaller companies often begin with smaller shipment bases, and therefore can score larger growth figures. As for smartphones--the current topic du jour in the wireless industry--Forward Concepts said the devices constituted only 13 percent of the global mobile phone market. Release